Scaling and Root Planing

When Scaling and Root Planing Is Helpful

Those who have trouble with plaque and gum disease will likely hear a hygienist and dentist recommend scaling and planing. The term they use is deep tooth cleaning. This procedure is used when plaque develops below the gumline and has hardened. This causes your gums to become irritated.
Irritated gums result in pain but can also pull away from your teeth allowing bacteria to grow more freely. That can lead to tooth decay.
Scaling and planing are helpful to reduce gum disease in patients with chronic periodontitis, according to a 2015 medical study. Almost half of adults over 29 years old in the U.S. have some form of periodontitis.

What Happens in Scaling and Planing?

Scaling and planing are two procedures done sequentially. Scaling comes first in the deep cleaning process, which can be done by a dentist or experienced hygienist. It's when tools are used to remove all the plaque and tartar on the teeth and also below the gumline. This includes cleaning out any pockets that have formed between teeth and gums.

A local anesthetic is typically used in this process so you won't feel any pain although you may feel some discomfort.

The procedure sometimes takes more than one appointment, depending on the severity of the plaque. Many hygienists will schedule work on one side of the mouth in one appointment and the other side in a second appointment. That's to avoid using a local anesthetic on both sides of your mouth.

Planing is when the dentist works with the teeth roots to smooth them out so they reattach to your teeth.

Side Effects

Your teeth may be sensitive and there could be pain for a day or two. Gums may bleed some and remain swollen for a couple of days. It’s common for a dentist to prescribe an antibiotic to prevent infection. They may also advise on a mouth rinse. Sometimes, medicine is put into an infected pocket they’ve cleaned to stop the spread of infection.
A follow-up visit may be scheduled for the dentist to see how the treatment helped reduce gum pockets.
Those who are concerned about their gum health should make an appointment for an exam and digital X-rays. We are here to provide scaling and planing as well as all of your oral health care needs.
Side Effects
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